Early in my career, a colleague suggested I send a “brilliant yet difficult” employee to an American Management Association training program formally called Executive Effectiveness and euphemistically referred to as “charm school.” I reached out to the AMA instructor, who assured me that the class was appropriate. However, he also suggested I first take the workshop myself to be better able to support my direct report. He told me, “no one ever takes this advice.” Challenge accepted!
Not only did I learn a lot, but his advice also set a pattern for me. I go first. It helps me help you. If I’m open, it also just helps me. I wouldn’t be where and who I am without following this idea of taking the training first!
P.S. Charm school taught me that I should be less charming, that I should speak what’s on my mind because the team needs to hear it. Still #workingonit!!!